Tender Touch’s Strange New World
I watch my husband drive away with his friend leaving me there in my new “home” with the girls and nothing but the clothes on our backs. Wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do now. I don’t have a job, he gave me a little money for groceries and he said he’d pay the rent and utilities until I got a job. I’m so sick. The doctor ordered complete bed rest for me, for me not to even get out of bed to eat, only to go to the bathroom and only to be on the main floor. How am I supposed to cope with all this?
We go up to our apartment and try to settle in. The girls have a couple of their favorite toys, I’ll go back to the house tomorrow while he’s at work and get more things for them. I don’t have the strength to do more or to argue with him. We look around at the empty apartment. The girls will sleep on the twin mattress, I’ll take the floor with a blanket. Did I have one? There were some in the van. I don’t have any food, I need to go shopping. But I don’t have any utensils, dishes or anything. Paper plates tonight, the house tomorrow. Make a list of the essentials. Get yourself together, girl, you can do this. You don’t want to be with him, you know he’s cheating. You know he’s been acting strange lately. You know he’s been going out late three or four nights a week to “retirement” parties and going out for “doughnuts” early on Saturday mornings and not coming home until late. You should have seen this coming. You thought maybe he’d leave. Not kick you out. But lately, you’ve been getting so sick. You’ve had such bad headaches you couldn’t see straight, you’ve had to call him to watch the kids while you wished you could die. You can’t taste anything, nothing smells good, everything smells like rotten eggs. Your heart literally hurts, your body hurts, your bones hurt, you have a rash all over your body, you can barely move. Yet he does nothing to help, except cook your meals. That he has helped with, thank goodness. You can’t stand the smell of food. You’ve lost a lot of weight.
Seeing the doctor yesterday was alarming to the doctor even, he was really worried about me. Told me not to even try to drive home, I was in too bad of condition. An infection around my heart, myocardial infarction, I think he said and a bunch of other things, I can’t remember. I was about to pass out. I waited in the bed of the van, I waited so long. Finally, my husband came to pick me up at five o’clock. We picked up the girls from the neighbors and he fixed dinner, I laid down on the sofa to rest. They watched TV. When the girls went to bed, he came to the sofa while I was dozing and forced himself on me. I told him no, over and over again. I was too sick, I hurt too much. But it didn’t matter to him. Then he went upstairs to bed and left me there. I stayed, I didn’t want to sleep with him. I couldn’t move anyway.
What am I going to do now? I’ve never lived on my own, let alone with two little ones depending on me. I am alone, no family for thousands of miles, no friends, and a new world before me.